I’m aware that I’m getting predictable, but I hope that everyone had a great weekend. Mine was enjoyable but only seemed to last five seconds. I travelled back home straight from work on Friday afternoon and returned to Wallingford late last night. I haven’t actually seen Wallingford in the daytime yet!Following a slightly stressful Monday, week six of my Cambridge Half training saw me miss an easy 45 minute run on Tuesday – I bottled out of running for 45 minutes in a totally unfamiliar area, switch my 30 minute tempo run on Wednesday to a session with Run Wallingford, complete a 40 minute speed session around Four Oaks on Saturday morning and a longer 8 mile run in Sutton Park on Sunday morning.
A lack of time in the morning meant that I found myself walking up and down the stairs at home for 40 minutes. I’m still not a huge fan of cross-training, hopefully the 30 minutes I spend walking to and from the office counts as an acceptable alternative.
So how did my slightly niggly left calf and left foot cope during the sixth week of my half marathon training?
Monday – Rest
When I looked out my window at 07:00 I discovered that it was raining, a lot. Welcome to Wallingford Emma! Luckily, the rain stopped during my 30 minute walk into the office and I didn’t turn up on day one looking like a drowned rat. I don’t think I should discuss my new job too much on here but it went very well and everyone was really friendly.I’ve no idea why I managed to get myself so worked up. I’ve got a nice desk next to the window and spent some of my lunchtime watching groups of people running. At some stage I need to find out more about the lunchtime running groups. For some bizarre reason, I found sitting in an office for almost eight hours incredibly tiring. I guess I’m not used to working 9-5!
Tuesday – Rest
I should have completed an easy 45 minute run on Tuesday evening but in the end I decided not to. I came up with some great excuses including a lack of local running route knowledge, a lack of gym membership funds – I don’t get paid until the end of February and the fact for some strange reason I felt shattered after sitting on my arse all day. At least I got some exercise walking the 1.5 miles to and from the office.
Wednesday – Training session with Run Wallingford
Most people moving to a new area probably research useful things like shops and public transport. I spent ages researching running clubs in the area. When a quick session on Google pointed me in the direction of a running group called Run Wallingford, I registered and signed up for a couple of their Wednesday evening training sessions. I figured that some running was better than completely missing my 30 minute tempo run.
After a slightly hectic day at work, I managed to ignore the fact I felt hungry and found myself walking towards Wallingford School feeling incredibly nervous. I tracked down the running group – runners are always easy to spot, introduced myself to the group leader, confirmed that I wasn’t a beginner and joined the group who would be running approximately 5k. After a quick warm-up I found myself running in Wallingford for the first time.
It took me 10 minutes to realise that Wallingford is tiny, has incredibly uneven pavements and rubbish streetlights. While I enjoyed running laps around the town, I didn’t enjoy having to spend a minute completing exercises including press-ups, burpees and squats next to the main road. Next week, I need to remember to pause my Garmin when I’m not running. I also need to make a bit more effort to talk to some of the other runners.
Thursday – Rest
Less than 5 minutes into my morning walk to the office, I discovered that my first run around the streets of Wallingford had left me with a tight and niggly left calf. Nothing changes. I think the highlight of my Thursday was spotting a notice on a notice board advertising a running club located a short walk from my office. The club organises runs ranging between 5 and 10 miles every Tuesday and a 3 mile time trial every Friday. When I’m a lot fitter and faster, I’ll do a bit more research.
Friday – 40 mins cross-training
Thanks to the flexi-time system, I left the office at 15:00 and made it back to Four Oaks an hour earlier than I’d originally planned at 18:00. I had a quick shower, got changed into some gym gear, chucked all my work clothes into the wash and settled down in front of the TV with a takeaway. After allowing myself an hour of chilling out time, I made myself leave the comfort of the settee, did some stretches and embarked on a 40 minute stair session. Fortunately, my slightly niggly left calf didn’t feel too bad and I managed to complete my cross-training session.
Saturday – 40 mins speed work
Fortunately, I managed to drag myself out of bed early enough to complete a 40 minute run – I’m not sure I could call it a speed work session – before it started to snow. Unfortunately, my Garmin decided that it didn’t want to function as a GPS, again! When I’ve saved up a bit of money, I’ll definitely be investing in a replacement. After spending what felt like ages getting cold waiting for it to pick up a signal, I decided to run using it as an overpriced stopwatch.
As my left calf was still feeling a little niggly after Wednesday’s slightly unusual training session, I decided to jog for a few minutes before starting my run. Once again, the second I started jogging my niggles virtually disappeared. The 40 minute run was amazing; it felt good to be running in the daylight and in familiar surroundings. Thanks to one of my favourite running related websites – GB Mapometer – I worked out that I ran roughly 4.2 miles in 40 minutes, a definite improvement on Wednesday evening! And then it started to snow so much my longer run on Sunday looked doubtful.
The rest of my Saturday was so mundane – think vacuuming, ironing, blogmin and stressing, I’ve decided not to bore you all to tears with the details.
Sunday – 8 mile long run
At approx 08:30 on Sunday morning I found myself ‘skating’ the mile or so to Ellen’s house. The pavements were so icy we decided to head into Sutton Park for our 8 mile long run. The long run was challenging in places due to the snow, ice and flooding but a lot of fun. I really enjoyed running with someone else, and doubt I would have even attempted to run in the snowy conditions on my own. We actually bumped into loads of runners; Sutton Park is clearly the place to run on a snowy Sunday morning. I had a quick cuppa with Ellen and then ran back home. I quickly discovered that although I’d started the run with a full set of toenails, I’d ended the run with nine. I spent the rest of my Sunday getting my gear together to take back to Wallingford, obsessively checking the local trains were running and generally wishing that I could stay in Four Oaks. I decided to delay booking train tickets for next weekend and to see how I got on during the week.
So that’s the sixth week of my half marathon training more or less completed. Reaching the halfway stage of my training feels great, only another six weeks to go…
Week seven of my half marathon training plan starts with a rest day. I have a feeling that my niggles will need some time to recover after running 8 miles in Sutton Park. I’ve then got to complete an easy 45 minute run on Tuesday, a 30 minute tempo run on Wednesday – at the moment I think I’ll run with Run Wallingford again, a 40 minute speed work session on Saturday and a slightly shorter 6 mile run on Sunday. In addition to running four times next week and walking 3 miles a day to and from the office, I’ve got to work out when I can fit in a 50 minute cross-training session.
Although I returned home straight after work on Friday, I’m not sure that I can justify or afford the expense of returning home every Friday.
- Runs: 17
- Time: 11 hours 26 mins
- Distance: 63.46 miles
- Right heel: 2/10
- Right knee: 2/10
- Left foot: 3/10
- Left calf: 3/10